Didgie's Motion Fixation Progress

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Linds, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Ok, so this video is probably super boring to everyone not me. But I'm just so incredibly tickled that I needed to share it.

    Most of you guys have probably seen me talk about or reference Didgie's motion fixation. She latches onto dogs fetching and running, with Traveler at the heart of this. It's my biggest frustration with her and my biggest regret for not knowing about herding breeds being prone to this.

    We've made strides in combatting this. I can now play with any toy with her and Traveler in the house and she wants the toy/me not Traveler. I stopped all dog park fetching when they are together there but even without that she's very much only into him there. We've gotten to the point where she will check in and call off him rather easily but still wants to shadow. She's also willing to play tug with me there IF he is tied up and unable to move.

    But today was the first time in months that I've taken the fetch/tug outside where her arousal level is much higher and Traveler is very much of a distraction. She did great. SO much better than I thought she would.

    Not only did she tug through him fetching (And I really threw the ball, not little sissy throws like before) but she was able to fetch (not her favorite thing in the world) WHILE he was also fetching.

    You can see in the start of the video how she starts out, that's what we're fighting against. At one point she is looking at me without the tug in her mouth, I throw the ball for Traveler, she looks at him and then refocuses on me without prompting. That was just huge.

    I hope with progress I'll be able to devote equal amount of attention to both her and Traveler while playing with them rather than having to give her so much of it. I plan on getting them each a different Wubba and making it their toy, and their toy only to work towards being able to have both of them fetching at the dog park.

    But for now, we have this!

    [YOUTUBE]G83UcaxTxZI[/YOUTUBE]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G83UcaxTxZI
     
  2. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Very nice!! I'm impressed with how far you guys have come, it's a hard (and frustrating) thing to work on. I have the same problem with Mu and Tipper - only if Mu is allowed to fixate we end up having a dog fight. It makes it super hard to work on.
     
  3. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I didn't know that was where their issues stemmed from but I can seriously see how that could happen. I think if Traveler had any edge to him at all (or been female) it would have resulted in some fights. As it is when they do that around other dogs, Didgie biting and barking and Traveler getting annoyed, it can set the other dogs off.

    You've done so well with Tipper and Mu! I at least don't have the aggression to deal with.

    If you have any tips for me feel free to share, most of what I've been doing has just been trial and error!
     
  4. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Woohoo she's doing great!


    Trav has a deeper bark than I imagined, LOL.
     
  5. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Seriously?!? He has the most pathetic chicken bark EVER! I think Didgie's bark is deeper than his.
     
  6. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Lol, really?! I dunno, maybe I'm just used to little dog barks. Jackson has the most annoying high pitched bark EVER. So Trav sounds all deep to me, haha
     
  7. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    Congrats! That is really awesome! I'm dealing with this and Talon right now at puppy class >_< It's a pain in the butt.
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    It really isn't fun, good thing you recognized it earlier than I did!

    Today I was able to go outside and alternate fetching between Didgie and Traveler. She would hold her stay (while almost completely focusing on me) while Traveler fetched and then as he was coming back I would throw it for her and she would go after it!

    Towards the end I even did a few with them going in the same direction with Traveler's throws farther and hers a little shorter.

    YAY!
     
  9. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    Go Didgie!!

    Linds, I was wondering, at what age did you notice that Didgie had a motion fixation? And how prevalent is it in herding breeds? (I tried to Google the answer but I don't think I'm using the right keywords.) Did Traveler ever have this problem, or is it more likely to manifest if a herding pup is raised with a fast-moving adult dog? And hypothetically, if you knew from the very beginning that Didgie had this fixation (like, the moment she got off the plane), what would you have done differently?
     
  10. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Honestly, I didn't notice it for what it was until she was older. I mean, I can't remember the exact age but I think it was when I tried to take her to the dog park and she couldn't even look at me because Traveler was there. Though I will say the first thing she did after getting out of the crate and going into the parking lot was chase a bag that flew by :rofl1:

    I think it's probably pretty common in a lot of dogs but a lot of people just kinda except it or know about it and work towards fixing it right away. I see in a lot of people's pictures of their Koolies (or BC's or Kelpies etc.) that the older dog they had solo for awhile will be staring at the person holding the camera and their will be dogs behind that dog staring at the other dog. I didn't really pay attention until I had been dealing with it.

    Sara was smart enough to ward against it right away, so was Shai with Cookie.

    I think Traveler could have had that issue though overall he isn't as fixed on motion as she is. he would latch on to fast moving dogs and be hard to call off. But, I wasn't living with a dog that could entice him like that so I think it made it SO much easier. Overall though Didgie is much more 'on' than he was, especially at that age.

    I would have done a lot different had I been smart enough from the get go. I wouldn't have taken Didgie and Traveler out to the dog park together and would have done a lot more separate off leash runs with her away from him. I would have tried very hard to not let her be in the position to fixate on him while getting her used to being these places and working with me. One of the issues I'm fighting right now is she is used to fixating on him in certain environments such as the dog park. It's habit.

    Then I would have built her drive for her toy and for me separately away from him and really encouraged that. At the dog park I notice while she's drawn to dogs fetching and moving I can get her attention away from them.

    If anyone else dealing or who has dealt with that wants to chime in that would be awesome!

    I hope I helped a little Page.
     
  11. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Yeah it definitely contributed to our issues. Everything kind of snowballed at once unfortunately.

    Aw thanks! Its nice to hear because tonight I kind of want to kill them. Lol.
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I have dealt with two dogs that have been motion reactive. It may not be the same thing, and is definitely not to the same extent as Didgie. I do see herders (especially border collies) stalking each other often. A couple friends were playing ball with their BCs the other day and the one was playing and the other was very clearly stalking the dog playing. I think a lot of people just accept it.

    One was Trey, who was a sheltie. He was very motion sensitive from day 1. At the time we had not enough experience to really deal with it so we took the 'management' route.

    Mia is the second one that has a tendency to stalk and redirect on the other dogs. She's definitely not a herding breed but she's always been very prey driven and sharp. I have never met another papillon with her temperament. So it certainly does happen in non herders, particularly dogs that are a little sharper and drivier. When I brought her home she showed some well developed prey behavior- stalking bugs and toys. Tail down, very serious. That transferred into play with the other dogs, namely Nard. I didn't mind it at the time, thought it was pretty cute and funny. Nard didn't seem to mind either.

    It gradually has gotten more and more prevalent as she's gotten older and she's gotten more confrontational. I didn't discourage it and in fact at some points encouraged it. Summer does not play so Mia doesn't stalk her when they're playing. The issues we have are when Summer goes to the bathroom. Particularly when Summer poops. And that's going to sound really weird. also doing recalls with Mia around is an issue. But basically Mia stalks Summer as she's going to the bathroom then redirects onto her. Summer of course tries to poop then run away before Mia gets her. Well, Summer running makes Mia worse. Pretty much any fast movement from Summer or Bernard can cause redirection. She will scream and chase. Usually goes for their ears and/or tail. and she will just drag poor Summer and Bernard by the tail. This has sometimes ended in fights between them.

    I notice Mia gets WAY overstimulated at this point. She will usually be opening and closing her mouth repeatedly in excitement. And often will screech.

    I wouldn't mind advice on the redirection from anyone. I've been working to keep them under the threshold as much as possible. Definitely don't encourage the behavior. Oh well, lessons learned.
     
  13. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    All of my dogs have done this. I guess I didn't really notice or work on it purposefully but there are some behaviors I am not ok with and do not allow.

    Limit was the worst. He had a bit of edge and him and Kastle would get into it. I began to encourage him to engage me with a toy when he was angry with Kastle. I went out in the yard every day for weeks and practiced this...but I tend to do things like that anyway, out of habit.

    The only dog that Limit fixates on now is Robin. For the most part only in our backyard and only when I'm not out there. If I'm around, he will now engage me. If Robin is not around, Limit is "normal" now and will play fine with everyone else.

    Robin went through this with Kastle for a few months and I mostly let Kastle correct him. The girls together are holy terrors but to everyone indiscriminately and moving or not lol
     
  14. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    It's interesting hearing others experiences and knowing I'm not the only one to fall into this trap.

    I think you're dead on. People just except it as a matter of course. It bothers me with my two so I won't do that and since I started talking about it I've gotten so many people who go "Oh yeah, mine do that too."

    There are two dogs I know that come to mind that are worse than Didgie, which is saying something. Two Aussies where they had one Aussie and got another Aussie when he was 5 months old to keep him company. They are completely focused on eachother and the younger one WILL not stop biting, barking and grabbing at the older one. They don't seem to care either, nothing is done to stop it and they cause fights with other dogs because of the intensity and level of arousal.

    I just can't have that be them. I want to be able to do stuff with both my dogs, together, with their focus on me.

    YES! Didgie does that too! And Traveler always did that to Kaylee.
     
  15. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    Bamm is super bad about this too. He has improved, but he still fixates with sudden movements. He's especially bad if he sees two other dogs playing (cricket and joey for example) and he will either charge at them barking his head off or stare hardcore with his body lower to the ground and flip his lip from where he is at. If I don't get in the middle and put an end to it right away I do worry that it may end up in a fight. Usually I can distract Bamm by telling him to go to his crate. As soon as he goes in his crate I immediately call him to me and offer him a tug toy and play with him for a little bit. That's helped a lot and while he still does fixate and probably always will, he has definitely improved.
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I really have been baffled by this. I've never seen another dog stalk then start biting a dog that is going to the bathroom.
     
  17. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Wonderful job! :)
     
  18. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Mu used to do it to Murphy. I don't remember when/why she stopped. I suspect that he told her off at some point when I wasn't watching though.
     
  19. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Yeah, Didgie will stalk and then body slam Traveler when he's going and Traveler used to be like that with Didgie but to a smaller extent. Too bad Traveler sucks at telling a dog off.

    So here's today's update. I've upped the difficultly a bit, I'm throwing both their toys at once and alternating between throws, Didgie stays with me while Traveler fetches and then she gets her toy thrown. Sometimes I thrown them both in the same direction with her throws shorter. She's doing good!

    The biggest part to me was when we got out there she looked to me, not Traveler. You can see in the start of the video that all her focus is on me, not him.

    At about 3 minutes or so she lost it and went after him BUT I was able to get her back. I've figured out that me throwing it for her and then him, so that she is coming back to me as she watches him run away is REALLY hard for her.

    But I am so happy every time she looks at him and CHOOSES to reengage with me.

    [YOUTUBE]azxSWOati9Y[/YOUTUBE]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azxSWOati9Y
     
  20. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    That is so great! It looks like she's making some really good progress! I was really impressed when you lost her attention and she ran to Traveler how she was able to regain focus on you! That's Amazing! I'm not sure Talon could do the same at this point :) Good job!
     

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